First Alert: ‘Slight risk’ for severe weather Thursday

First Alert: ‘Slight risk’ for severe weather Thursday
The storms that have the potential to be severe will arrive in the afternoon and into the late evening. (Source: WDAM)

PINE BELT (WDAM) - The Storm Prediction Center has increased the severe weather risk for the Pine Belt to a “slight risk.” That is a two on the one-to-five scale where five is the highest risk for severe weather.

The Weather Prediction Center continues to have the area under a “slight risk” for flash flooding and excessive rainfall.

What to expect

Showers will begin as early as Thursday morning as a warm front pushes through the area. Any rain that occurs in the morning will not feature severe weather. In fact, there may even be a few rumbles of thunder and some strong wind gusts by noon in a few of the passing showers, but it is unlikely that any severe weather will occur.

The storms that have the potential to be severe will arrive in the afternoon and into the late evening. Some may stick around through the overnight hours and into Friday morning, too.

Preparations

Have your NOAA Weather Radio programmed with fully-charged batteries on standby. If you must travel, make sure to check the weather conditions, watches, warnings and advisories before venturing out the door. Review your severe weather plan and know what you should do if a severe storm or tornado is near you. If you don't feel comfortable riding out a storm where you live, make a plan regarding when you should leave your home and where you should go. Also, download the WDAM Weather App so, if the power goes out, you still have access to live, streaming coverage of any updates about the weather.

What we know right now

Threats:

Heavy rain, localized flooding, frequent lightning, damaging wind and the possibility for a few isolated tornadoes (depending on the storm’s track). Any tornado that develops would, most likely, be an EF0 or EF1.

Timing:

Right now, it looks like the first rain associated with this system will be Thursday morning. This would be light to moderate rain with no threat for severe weather.

The threat for severe storms increases between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. and lasts through 3 a.m. Friday morning. The risk for flooding may continue through 8 a.m. on Friday morning.

Unknowns:

1 - When/If the first batch of storms will die: If the first round of storms die as they pass through, there may be a lower risk for flooding in some areas as the rainfall totals would be limited.

2 - Storm system track: The mid-level system associated with the cold front may shift further north. If so, the cold front, and any accompanying severe storm, would be weaker.

3 - How much moisture comes with the warm front: As the warm front moves by our area on Thursday, we will get a rush of warm, moist air. Depending on how many storms form along it and behind it in the Gulf of Mexico will dictate a lot of what we experience on land.

4 - How long the storms will linger: As the cold front passes, it may get hung up and slow to a halt. If so, we could end up with some flooding in some places.

The WDAM First Alert Weather App

Take the same tools the WDAM First Alert Weather Team uses with you everywhere you go. Download the WDAM First Alert Weather app today for real-time interactive radar, location-based severe weather alerts and a constantly updated forecast for wherever you are.

Plan your day with an hour-by-hour forecast tailored for home, work or anywhere on-the-go. Our WDAM First Alert Weather app can tell you if a storm near you has hail, strong winds or rotation.

Here are some more features of the WDAM First Alert Weather app:

  • Storm  Tracks: See at a glance where a storm is and where it is headed
  • Multiple  Alerts: Turn on alerts for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, floods,  tropical storms/hurricanes, winter storms and more
  • Live  severe weather coverage: Watch our live stream for continuously updated  information when severe weather strikes
  • Updated  forecasts from the First Alert Weather Center
  • Weather  pictures and video sent by people who live near you
  • A  constantly updated 10-day forecast, so your weekend is always in view

The WDAM First Alert Weather App is free in the Android and Apple app stores, part of the WDAM’s commitment to help keep you safe.

Apple users can download the app here. Android users can download the app here.

If your home or community is damaged in the storms, contact your county’s Emergency Management Agency here.

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